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Heil Ranch

Enjoy biking, hiking, or horseback riding on the Wapiti and Ponderosa Loop Trails at Heil Ranch northwest of Boulder.
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Difficulty: Moderate
Length: 7.6 miles
Duration: 1-3 hours
Family Friendly

Overview :  Boulder has not been voted America's #1 Outdoor City for nothing. Heil Valley Ranch Open Space is one of the many reasons for... more »

Tips:  - This is an ideal trail for budding young mountain bikers. It has its share of roots, rocks, & ruts, but none of them are too... more »

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Points of Interest

1. trailhead

The parking lot is a one-way loop with ample parking in both the upper and lower lots. You will find trailer parking for equestrian trail users.

2. restrooms

If ya gotta go before ya go, this is the place.

3. emergency access road crossing

Stay off the emergency access roads. They're for maintenance, fire trucks, & other emergency vehicles.

4. dry stack rock structure

I have gotten three different stories from three different people about this rock structure. So rather than tell you it's history and purpose, I will recommend that you notice it's construction. Someone did a fairly decent job of interlaying the stones.

5. clear cut

Although this opening may not be too pleasing to view, it provides vital wildlife habitat and may also serve as an important fire break.

6. Ponderosa Loop Trail

At this point, you will leave the Wapiti Trail and begin the Ponderosa loop trail.
The distance for this trail is counting out-and-back on the Wapiti Trail and then the Ponderosa Loop. A trail such as this is often called a "lasso trail."

7. Wild Turkey Trail junction and way to Picture Rock Trail

The Wild Turkey Trail is like a loop trail that comes off of a loop trail. But more importantly, it is the access trail to reach Picture Rock Trail which takes you to Lyons, CO and eventually will connect to Hall Ranch Open Space trails. (See Hall Ranch Everytrail guide.)

8. Wild Turkey Trail junction 2

This is another place from which you can launch your voyage down to Lyons.

9. scenic overlook

This overlook offers panoramic views of the valley below and of the Hall Ranch Open Space and it's network of trails. You will find two comfortable benches where you can rest and enjoy the view.

10. equestrian trail

Heil Ranch is an exceptionally beautiful horseback riding trail. It offers wonderful conditions for both the horses and riders. As with all trails, it is important that trail users show mutual respect. Hikers and bike riders should always exercise caution around horses so as not to cause them to spook. Avoid sudden movements/noises and give the... More

11. trail surface

If this trail hasn't won some awards, it should. Great pains have been taken to create the ideal trail surface both recreationally and environmentally. It has an outstanding grade to provide a challenging ride yet still be accessible to intermediate riders. It works well for hikers, bikers, and equestrians. You will notice numerous places where... More

12. Practice safe biking.

Although this trail is nicely constructed and well-maintained, it is up to the trail-users to be courteous, considerate, and safe. With tempting downhill runs and excellent banked corners, it could be tempting to race down the trail. Resist the temptation. Remember that there are numerous other trail users and you are an ambassador for the biking ... More